There are few actors as celebrated as Al Pacino. He's been acting for over 50 years, and turns 80 on April 25th. He's won pretty much every acting award they have including the Oscar, the Emmy, and the BAFTA, and been nominated for everything else. So here we go: the highlights of a storied career.
Few actors are as associated with New York as Alfred James Pacino, and the first movie that won him notice was The Panic in Needle Park. A love story among heroin addicts in early 1970's Manhattan, this film solidified his reputation as a young actor to watch.
The next year saw the start of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Francis Ford Coppola with The Godfather. While Pacino was only nominated for Oscars in this series of movies, the role of Michael Corleone remains his most iconic.
Pacino plays a gangster of a different kind in Scarface. Tony Montana escapes from Castro's Cuba and brings a new level of violence to the Miami underworld. Initially trusted and respected, he is impatient to have it all and brings his world crashing down around him.
In Serpico, Pacino plays an honest cop who blows the whistle on some corrupt colleagues. He's put in constant danger as payback, while his superiors do nothing. Eventually, he testifies to Congress, and is given political asylum in Europe. This role earned Pacino another Oscar nomination.
Pacino had another good decade in the 1990's, starting with Frankie & Johnny. In this one, Pacino plays an ex-con working as a cook and determined to win over a waitress, portrayed by Michelle Pfeifer. Al Pacino takes a break from his tough-guy roles in this sweet film based on a play by Terrance McNally.
In David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, Pacino plays one of the desperate salesmen in a real estate office in this work oft-quoted by film buffs. Once again, Pacino was nominated for an Oscar.
In Heat, Pacino faces off against Robert De Niro as a veteran detective and the leader of a group of professional robbers out for one last score. Their personal lives circle the drain as they become obsessed with each other.
Donnie Brasco effectively tears down the Mafia's classy façade created by Francis Ford Coppola and other filmmakers. Al Pacino plays Lefty Ruggiero, a collector for a Mob boss. Johnny Depp plays the undercover FBI agent whose job it is to bring them all down, but he develops a real friendship with Lefty.
Pacino plays a far more noble role in The Insider as a crusading producer for 60 Minutes. Also starring Russell Crowe, this is the story of how Big Tobacco was finally brought to account, despite wavering TV executives and ruthless corporate ones.
Most recently, Pacino had a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino's fantasy, Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood. He plays an agent who's in just as precarious a position as his clients, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. They represent the Old Hollywood being supplanted by actors like Sharon Tate, Harvey Keitel, and...Al Pacino.
Pacino has an extensive filmography, and these are just a few of his roles. Tell us about the ones we had to skip in in the comments.